Mike DeCourcy ranked junior Marcus Paige as the best point guard in the country however Paige in my opinion is the best guard in the country whether it is at the one or two. When North Carolina lost PJ Hairston for the 2013-2014 season Marcus Paige knew he had to be aggressive offensively. North Carolina’s lack of perimeter scoring forced Paige to spend a lot of time playing the two guard. Regardless if Marcus Paige plays primarily at the point guard or shooting guard position this his without question his team, one he believes has enough to bring home another national championship to Chapel Hill.
Marcus Paige is about to begin his Junior season knowing exactly what is expected out of him for the first time since he committed to Chapel Hill. As a high school senior Paige thought he would come to North Carolina and learn the point guard position behind veteran guard Kendall Marshall. His future was changed by a Ethan Wragge foul that sent Kendall Marshall and his broken hand straight into the NBA draft. With Marshall no longer on the team Paige had to step in and run the show from day one. With back up point guard Nate Britt and incoming freshman Joel Berry II Paige knows coach Williams will have the luxury of moving him in different spots to take advantage of his scoring ability.
Paige has worked hard in the off season to improve his three point range and shooting consistently off of screens. With more offensive weapons Paige can still be aggressive however he doesn’t have to make every big shot as was the case in 2013-2014. Justin Jackson, Joel Berry will bring an added punch to an offense that will have a improved Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson who should be one of the better low post scoring options in the ACC.
Paige was the player teams keyed in on last year and he still managed to average 17.5 points a game and lead North Carolina in assists with a little over 4 per contest. Team will no longer only be able to focus in on the junior guard allowing Paige to be patient looking for better shots. At times last year Paige had to take the tough shot because that was the best option, but look out for an even more efficient scorer which should terrify teams in the ACC.